Baby Names Australia 2017 Report

Monday, May 01, 2017

Around one in ten of Australia’s 300,000 babies born in the last year were given one of the Top 10 baby names. There were 2,145 boys named Oliver and 1,817 girls named Charlotte last year. You can read the full 2017 Baby Names Australia report here

Oliver and Charlotte take out the top baby names

Maintaining the top spot from 2014 is Oliver, having overtaken Jack and William which were first in 2011 and 2012-2013 respectively. Oliver was the top boys’ name in all states (except WA where Jack ranked number one). Jack also took out the top spot in the NT, while William was number one in the ACT.

Charlotte, with 1,817 occurrences is the top girl baby name in Australia for the second year in a row, exceeding Olivia – who held the top rank in 2014. Charlotte took out the top baby girl name in every state but NSW, where Olivia was more popular.

Four new boys’ and five new girls’ names enter the top 100

Last year four new boys’ names and five new girl’s names entered the top 100 list. For boys, Sonny (84th) makes a first ever entrance into the Top 100 along with Vincent (99th) and Parker (100th). Meanwhile John (94th) makes a comeback- having been the number one name nationally throughout much of the 1930’s and 1940’s. These names enter at the expense of Braxton, Jesse, Harley and Jett.

For girls, names making the Top 100 for the first time include Bonnie (82nd), Thea (85th), Quinn (90th), Florence (97th)and Brooklyn (99th). These names enter at the expense of Lillian, Leah, Gabriella, Maryam and Maggie.

Extinction and reinvention

Wayne, Darren, Brett and Craig all achieved popularity in the 1960s /70s, but by the 90s were also out of the Top 100. Jack, which has had more years at number one this century than any other boys name, was not even in the Top 100 in 1985. It is an example of the 100 year return, having been the fifth most popular name in the 1920s, before its decline until recent years. 

Throughout the 1960s, Sharon was a Top 10 name, even becoming the second most popular name for two years in the mid-1960s. However, by the late 1970s the name had dropped towards the end of the list and has not appeared in the Top 100 since 1983. Kylie, Donna and Tracey have encountered similar patterns of popularity in the 60s/70s, but have all dropped out of the Top 100 in the 80s/90s.

Grace was a moderately popular girls’ name at the turn of the 20th century, coming to a near decline from the 1910s to 1970s but climbing significantly in popularity since the 1980s. Over the last five years it has been consistently rising in popularity and for two years now has been in the Top 10. Charlotte is another example of a near extinct name that has significant resurgence. In 1989 it debuted back in the Top 100 for the first time in the modern era, at 86th, and by 2013 it achieved first position on the list, which it has retained for four of the last five years.

Top names in previous decades

Joshua was the most popular boys’ name in Australia for almost a decade from the mid 1990’s until 2003. Its reign at the top of the list is a feat unequalled even by Jack which replaced it as the top name in 2004 but only held an uninterrupted run for five years. Not since the dominance of David in the 1960’s or Michael in the 1970’s has a boys’ name had such a run. However the decline in popularity of Joshua has been consistent since then, falling 15 places to 29th just in the last five years. 20 years ago there were four times as many babies given the name Joshua each year compared to today.

Jessica was Australia’s most popular girls’ name for an unprecedented 16 years out of the 18 years from 1984 to 2001 inclusive. By the mid 1990’s, approximately one in every 30 girls born in Australia was named Jessica compared to just one in 85 today given the current top girls’ name Charlotte. In just over a decade, Jessica dropped from first to 29th. In the five years since 2013, Jessica has dropped another 47 places to 75th. Based on the current trends, Jessica will be out of the Top 100 by 2020, less than 20 years after it was in top spot.

Botanic themes

Girls’ names are strongly influenced by all things botanical with examples being Lily (13th), Ivy (20th) Willow (27th), Violet (38th), Jasmine (46th), Poppy (52nd), Rose (76th), Daisy (79th) and Olive (81st). In contrast, no Top 100 boys’ names have botanic influences.

A Royal Influence

The original category of celebrities – the royals – have not only captured the loyalty and affections of modern Australians but contribute to significantly influence their choice in baby names. The younger generation of the Royal family have resonated with their contemporary generation Y’s in Australia who are now also in their family forming life-stage. The births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte have contributed to the popularity of these names. Like George’s rank which increased from 71st in 2012 to 38th in 2016, in 2015 we saw the name Charlotte overtake Olivia as the nation’s most popular baby girl name. Charlotte is once again the top baby girl name for 2016.

In addition to George and Charlotte, other well-known royal names that feature in the Top 100 include William, Henry, Edward, Charles, Elizabeth, Alexandra and Victoria.

Past reports 

Supply and demand; Australia as an ageing nation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017



Australia is experiencing a baby boom, with births exceeding 300,000 a year. 30 years ago, the over 65s made up just 11% of our population (one in nine persons). Today the over 65s make up 15% of our population (one in seven). Forecasts project that this cohort will make up 18% in 2027 (one in six). By 2047 one in five Australians (20%) will be aged over 65.


Our median age is also increasing. Three decades ago the median age of an Australian was 31.3. Today it is 37.4 and in 2047 it is projected to be just under 40.


The over 85s, where there is an even greater need for aged care services, are growing at a faster rate than the over 65s. In 1987 there were 133,448 Australians aged over 85. Today there are four times as many, and in 2047 there will 14 times as many.


Not only are there more older people in our nation, but Australians are living longer than ever before. Life expectancy at birth in 1987 was 76.3, whereas today it is 81 for a male and 85 for a female. In 2047, it is projected to 89.9.


The primary enabler of this increased longevity gain has been the health system rather than individual behaviour. Life expectancy increases will continue because of improved medical technologies, public health infrastructure and better public health measures. New and improved medical interventions will also contribute, as will the improved survivability rates of major illnesses and cancers.

A decade ago, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease were the 6th largest causes of death in Australia. Today they are the 3rd leading causes of death with the number of deaths having more than doubled to 9,864. Over the same period of time, deaths due to the first and second causes of death (heart disease and brain disease) have been decreasing. If today’s current trend continues, by 2021 dementia and Alzheimer’s disease will be the leading cause of death in Australia.


In 1952, the year that Queen Elizabeth II became sovereign, 40 letters of congratulations would need to have been written to Australians turning 100. This year, 2,925 Australians will turn 100 and in 10 years 5,401 will turn 100. In 30 years the number of congratulatory letters written to Australians turning 100 will increase to 25,938 in the year 2047.



Not only is there an increasing demand on the services provided by the aged care sector with the growing number of over 85s, there is also a workforce supply challenge.


The ageing population will place greater demands for productivity on the labour force. In 1975 for every person of retirement age there were 7.1 people in the working age population. By 2015 there were just 4.5 people of working age for every individual of retirement age, and this is projected to decline to just 2.7 people of working age for every individual at retirement age by 2055.


Because of the high median age of an employee in the aged care sector, half of the aged care workforce will be of retirement age in 15 years. There are 350,000 workers in the aged care sector (estimated in 2012), so this equates to an average of 11,667 retirements per year for the next 15 years. This averages to 972 farewell lunches per month!

If we are to keep the current ratio of aged care workers to people aged over 85 in our nation, we need to add 129,945 workers in the next 10 years. This equates to recruiting 1,083 new workers per month, in addition to replacing the 972 retiring staff per month.

That’s a total recruitment goal of 2,055 each month – adding nearly 25,000 individuals to Australia’s aged care workforce each year.


To find out more about McCrindle's expertise in the aged care industry, or how we can communicate these insights to your team, please get in touch.

2016 Australian Communities Forum Recap

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Last Thursday, McCrindle Research and R2L&Associates were proud to present the Sydney Australian Communities Forum (ACF) at Customs House in Sydney. The ACF featured 15 brilliant speakers and 4 jam-packed sessions.


We began the day with tea and coffee on arrival before kicking off our first session, which focused on the research results from the Australian Communities Trends Report into Australia's not-for-profit sector. Before we launched into the findings we received a warm welcome from the honourable Catherine Cusack MLC, Parliamentary secretary to the Premier of NSW, and Professor Kerryn Phelps AM, Deputy Lord Mayor on behalf of our principal event sponsor, the City of Sydney.

SESSION 1 - introduction

Mark McCrindle opened Session 1 with an introduction to Australia's generational landscape and gave a snapshot of the key factors influencing Australian communities and some surprising findings from the just-completed Australian Communities Report. Mark provided an overview of giving in Australia, indicating that 4 in 5 Australians give financially to charities / not-for-profits, and that 1 in 4 give at least once a month.

McCrindle Team Leader of Analytics, Annie Phillips continued to share about the quantitative insights from the research, identifying the top 7 causes Australians support (Children's charities, medical research, animal welfare, disaster response in Australia, disability, homelessness and mental health), the 5 charity essentials and the top communication channels. Annie also provided an explanation of the Net Promotor Score (29) and Net Culture Score (21) for the sector, which were both very high.

Sophie Rention, Research Executive at McCrindle then communicated some of the key qualitative findings from the Australian Communities Trends Report. Sophie highlighted the key blockers (e.g. complex giving process) and enablers (e.g. personal connection) to charitable giving for Australians, as well as the next steps for charities including creating multi-tiered levels of engagement, community building, effective communication of results and fun and engaging experiences. 

We then heard from John Rose, principal at R2L&Associates about what this research means for community organisations and how they can best respond to the findings. In his insights and applications John reminded our delegates that in the midst of changes in the marketplace, trust and relevance is essential. John then presented 5 key issues for charities to keep in mind when engaging with the ever-changing supporter which included aligning, defining, communicating, engaging and leading.

Each of our delegates also received a copy of The Australian Communities Trends Infographic which contains the top line findings from the national study into Australian giving and how charities can engage.


SESSION 2 - keynotes

After a networking break over morning tea Eliane Miles, Research Director at McCrindle shared an engaging keynote presentation on Leading teams and managing change in transformative times. In the post linear, post literate and post logical workforce, Eliane reminded us that to engage and inspire our workplaces we need to ensure a culture of contribution, challenge and celebration within our teams. To attract and retain, to lead and inspire, we need to cultivate authenticity. 

Our next keynote, Josh Hawkins emphasised the importance of creativity in social media and marketing campaigns. Josh showed us that creative and fun campaigns are the ones that get cut through. Josh also inspired us to be authentic with our marketing and leadership to under 30's. Through humour, engaging videos and key takeaways, Josh's presentation reminded us that when you "Give someone a task you'll get what you ask for". But when you "Give them a vision you'll get more than you could ever ask for". 

Our final keynote speaker before lunch was Ivan Motley, found of .id The Population Experts. Specialising in using data to inform decisions and shape the future, Ivan and his team talked us through how analytics can shape the quality of education, housing, health, the environment and education. Using some practical case studies, the id. team showed us why we should be using local data to understand our communities, and how information and data can help transform communities.

SESSION 3 - streams

Stream 1: Understanding Australian Communities

In this stream Geoff Brailey, Research Executive at McCrindle began by giving an overview of the next generation of volunteers and donors, and tips on how to engage and motivate them. This was followed by Nic Bolto who encouraged us to do the hard work as leaders and how to effectively implement insights in organisations. Our last stream speaker for this session was James Ward, a Director at NBRS Architecture who showed us, through a case study, how understanding spaces and building communities can help to improve people's lives.

Stream 2: Engaging Australian Communities

In Stream 2, McCrindle Team Leader of Communications Ashley McKenzie began this session by giving practical tips and insights on how to communicate complex data in message saturated times. Following on was Salvation Army officer Bryce Davies who shared how The Salvation Army build community in areas of social challenge by creating communities focused on respect, encouragement and belonging. Our final stream 2 speaker Greg Low, co-founder of R2L&Associates gave us five essentials to make your next marketing or fundraising campaign thrive.


Following afternoon tea and some great networking, we gathered back together to hear from our last two speakers, Caitlin Barrett from Love Mercy and Andy Gourley from Red Frogs. 

Caitlin Barrett, CEO of the Love Mercy Foundation kicked off our afternoon session by telling us the engaging story of how Love Mercy was founded after Australian Olympian met Ugandan Olympian and former child soldier Julius Achon. After sharing the vision and mission of Love Mercy, Caitlin shared how they engage the community through telling personal stories, the importance of finding the right audience for the right story and telling the right details to provide an experience.  

Our last speaker for the day was Andy Gourley, founder and director of Red Frogs Australia. After having founded Red Frogs in 1997, Red Frogs is now the largest support network in Australia for Schoolies, festivals and universities. Through the use of engaging stories and hard-hitting realities, Andy effectively communicated how Red Frogs was founded and the crucial role they play in safeguarding vulnerable young people at events like Schoolies and festivals.  

We would like to thank all of our speakers and delegates for making the 2016 Australian Communities Forum a fantastic event. A big thank you to our sponsors, The City of Sydney, Pro Bono Australia, Hope 103.2 and ConnectingUp as well for your support in making this event happen.

The 2016 Australian Communities Trends Infographic

Thursday, October 06, 2016

The results of our annual longitudinal study, which analyses the effectiveness, engagement and awareness of the Not for Profit sector, will be presented at the one-day Australian Communities Forum in Sydney on October 13.

The Australian Community Trends Report delivers a clear analysis of the social context in which the Not for Profit sector is operating, and shows that Australians are a generous bunch, with four in five Australian givers (80%) giving financially to charitable organisations.

Some of the findings which are presented in the infographic below from the 2016 research, will be shared by Mark McCrindle and John Rose (R2L & Associates) at the Australian Communities Forum.

Motivation for giving

When it comes to motivation to give money to or volunteer with a charitable organisation, children and health are the top causes. Australian charitable givers are most likely to be highly motivated to give money to or volunteer for children’s charities (47%) followed by medical and cancer research organisations (46%) and animal welfare and wildlife support groups (44%). Compared to our 2015 research findings, children’s charities have overtaken health and disaster relief as the highest giving priorities in 2016.

The key decision drivers

The key decision drivers for Australian charitable givers are knowledge and trust of the organisation, which is the most significant influence on Australian givers getting involved with a charitable organisation. Almost seven in 10 Australian givers (68%) indicated that this is extremely or very significant as a motivation for getting involved. Australians are also highly motivated by organisations that make the world a better place for the less fortunate (54%) and also by their own knowledge of a need (52%).

The most important communication channels

The most important communication channels in helping Australian charitable givers to engage with causes, Not for Profit organisations and charitable organisations is through word of mouth by way of friends or family members. This was listed as the most influential channel through which Australian givers hear about and engage with charitable organisations, with 39% of Australian givers considering this to be extremely or very important. This validates the ingrained Aussie “scepticism” and our need to hear information from someone we trust in order to fully trust the information we are receiving. Websites are increasingly seen as reliable sources of information with a third (33%) of Australian givers considering these as extremely or very important to them engaging with a charitable organisation.

Mentoring the Next Generations

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Teachers, employers and parents want to see younger people reach their potential, however the problem is that the pathway to productivity and living a life of high capacity and great quality is not a straight line for Gen Y and Gen Z’s. In an era of increasing change, greater complexity and global mega-trends these younger generations need mentors to grow them, guide them and give them the feedback they need to develop and mature.

At McCrindle we know these younger generations and we believe in their potential to achieve greatness. Managers, CEO’s, team leaders, teachers and parents have a unique opportunity to mentor these younger generations through formal and informal conversations. Gen Y and Z’s are keen be mentored. That means they want to be listened to, not lectured at, encouraged and asked open-ended questions that help their decision making process.

The goal of mentoring young people is to expand their values and worldview, strengthen their character and enlarge their personal and professional capacity. These younger generations desire opportunities for personal growth through a friendly and supportive partnership.

Mentors and leaders in society today have an opportunity to shape these younger generations. The challenge mentors often face is around how to turn general conversations into character and skill development.

7 Developmental Areas mentors need to cover

PRIORITIES: Help these generations focus amongst digital distractions

RESILIENCE: Highlight their current experience and strengths to provide assurance in anxious moments

AUTHENTICITY: Showcase the benefits of community in and above digital connectivity

INSIGHT: Provide greater vision to make wise life decisions

ENERGY: Encourage decisiveness to remove blockers, overcome obstacles and move forward

BALANCE: Teach them how to say a positive 'no' in a busy ‘yes’ work/life culture, to maintain a healthy lifestyle

GREATNESS: Inspire the best in these young people as they move through the transitional stages of life.

Geoff Brailey speaking on this topic at the Australian Communities Forum 2016

Understanding the next generation of volunteers and donors

A specific area of focus in the 2016 Australian Communities Report is analysis of volunteers and supporters aged under 30 and in this session, Geoff Brailey, Research Executive at McCrindle Research, will share the findings as well as give practical insights on engaging young people in community organisations and developing the leadership capacity of the next generation of staff and volunteers.


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